RSSAlla poster i "egypten" Kategori

The Arab Tomorrow

DAVID B. OTTAWAY

October 6, 1981, was meant to be a day of celebration in Egypt. It marked the anniversary of Egypt’s grandest moment of victory in three Arab-Israeli conflicts, when the country’s underdog army thrust across the Suez Canal in the opening days ofthe 1973 Yom Kippur War and sent Israeli troops reeling in retreat. On a cool, cloudless morning, the Cairo stadium was packed with Egyptian families that had come to see the military strut its hardware.On the reviewing stand, President Anwar el-Sadat,the war’s architect, watched with satisfaction as men and machines paraded before him. I was nearby, a newly arrived foreign correspondent.Suddenly, en av arméns lastbilar stannade direkt framför granskningsläktaren precis när sex Mirage-jetplan vrålade ovanför i en akrobatisk föreställning, måla himlen med långa spår av rött, gul, lila,och grön rök. Sadat reste sig, uppenbarligen förbereder sig för att utbyta hälsningar med ännu en kontingent av egyptiska trupper. Han gjorde sig själv till ett perfekt mål för fyra islamistiska mördare som hoppade från lastbilen, stormade pallen, och fyllde sin kropp med kulor. När mördarna fortsatte under vad som verkade vara en evighet att spraya stativet med sin dödliga eld, Jag funderade ett ögonblick på om jag skulle slå i marken och riskera att bli trampad ihjäl av panikslagna åskådare eller stanna kvar och riskera att ta en lös kula. Instinkten sa åt mig att hålla mig på benen, och min känsla av journalistisk plikt fick mig att gå och ta reda på om Sadat levde eller var död.

The Totalitarianism of Jihadist Islamism and its Challenge to Europe and to Islam

Basso tibi

When reading the majority of texts that comprise the vast literature that has been published by self-proclaimed pundits on political Islam, it is easy to miss the fact that a new movement has arisen. Further, this literature fails to explain in a satisfactory manner the fact that the ideology which drives it is based on a particular interpretation of Islam, and that it is thus a politicised religious faith,
not a secular one. The only book in which political Islam is addressed as a form of totalitarianism is the one by Paul Berman, Terror and Liberalism (2003). The author is, dock, not an expert, cannot read Islamic sources, and therefore relies on the selective use of one or two secondary sources, thus failing to grasp the phenomenon.
One of the reasons for such shortcomings is the fact that most of those who seek to inform us about the ‘jihadist threat’ – and Berman is typical of this scholarship – not only lack the language skills to read the sources produced by the ideologues of political Islam, but also lack knowledge about the cultural dimension of the movement. This new totalitarian movement is in many ways a novelty
in the history of politics since it has its roots in two parallel and related phenomena: first, the culturalisation of politics which leads to politics being conceptualised as a cultural system (a view pioneered by Clifford Geertz); and second the return of the sacred, or ‘re-enchantment’ of the world, as a reaction to its intensive secularisation resulting from globalisation.
The analysis of political ideologies that are based on religions, and that can exert appeal as a political religion as a consequence of this, involves a social science understanding of the role of religion played by world politics, especially after the bi-polar system of the Cold War has given way to a multi-polar world. In a project conducted at the Hannah Arendt Institute for the application of totalitarianism to the study of political religions, I proposed the distinction between secular ideologies that act as a substitute for religion, and religious ideologies based on genuine religious faith, which is the case in religious fundamentalism (see note
24). Another project on ‘Political Religion’, genomfördes vid universitetet i Basel, har klargjort poängen att nya synsätt på politik blir nödvändiga när en religiös tro väl klätts i en politisk klädsel. Utifrån de auktoritativa källorna till politisk islam, denna artikel föreslår att den stora variationen av organisationer inspirerade av islamistisk ideologi ska begreppsliggöras både som politiska religioner och som politiska rörelser. Den unika egenskapen hos politisk islams lögner är det faktum att den är baserad på en transnationell religion (see note 26).

Islam, Politisk islam och Amerika

Arab Insight

Är "Broderskap" med Amerika möjligt?

khalil al-anani

"det finns ingen chans att kommunicera med någon U.S. administration så länge som USA behåller sin långvariga syn på islam som en verklig fara, en syn som sätter USA i samma båt som den sionistiska fienden. Vi har inga förutfattade meningar om det amerikanska folket eller USA. samhället och dess medborgerliga organisationer och tankesmedjor. Vi har inga problem med att kommunicera med det amerikanska folket men inga tillräckliga ansträngningar görs för att föra oss närmare," sa Dr. Issam al-Iryan, chef för Muslimska brödraskapets politiska avdelning i en telefonintervju.
Al-Iryans ord sammanfattar Muslimska brödraskapets syn på det amerikanska folket och USA. regering. Andra medlemmar av Muslimska brödraskapet skulle hålla med, liksom den bortgångne Hassan al-Banna, som grundade gruppen i 1928. Al- Banna såg västvärlden mest som en symbol för moraliskt förfall. Andra salafister – en islamisk tankeskola som förlitar sig på förfäder som exemplariska modeller – har antagit samma syn på USA, men saknar den ideologiska flexibilitet som det Muslimska brödraskapet förespråkar. Medan Muslimska brödraskapet tror på att engagera amerikanerna i civil dialog, andra extremistgrupper ser ingen mening med dialog och hävdar att våld är det enda sättet att hantera USA.

Liberal Democracy and Political Islam: the Search for Common Ground.

Mostapha Benhenda

Denna uppsats syftar till att skapa en dialog mellan demokratiska och islamiska politiska teorier.1 Samspelet mellan dem är förbryllande: till exempel, för att förklara förhållandet mellan demokrati och deras uppfattning om den ideala islamiska politiken
regimen, den pakistanska forskaren Abu ‘Ala Maududi myntade neologismen” teodemokrati ”medan den franska forskaren Louis Massignon föreslog oxymoron” sekulär teokrati ”. Dessa uttryck tyder på att vissa aspekter av demokrati utvärderas positivt och andra bedöms negativt. Till exempel, Muslimska forskare och aktivister stöder ofta principen om härskarnas ansvarsskyldighet, vilket är ett avgörande inslag i demokratin. Tvärtom, de förkastar ofta principen om åtskillnad mellan religion och stat, which is often considered to be part of democracy (at least, of democracy as known in the United States today). Given this mixed assessment of democratic principles, it seems interesting to determine the conception of democracy underlying Islamic political models. Med andra ord, we should try to find out what is democratic in “theodemocracy”. To that end, among the impressive diversity and plurality of Islamic traditions of normative political thought, we essentially focus on the broad current of thought going back to Abu ‘Ala Maududi and the Egyptian intellectual Sayyed Qutb.8 This particular trend of thought is interesting because in the Muslim world, it lies at the basis of some of the most challenging oppositions to the diffusion of the values originating from the West. Based on religious values, this trend elaborated a political model alternative to liberal democracy. Broadly speaking, the conception of democracy included in this Islamic political model is procedural. With some differences, this conception is inspired by democratic theories advocated by some constitutionalists and political scientists.10 It is thin and minimalist, up to a certain point. Till exempel, it does not rely on any notion of popular sovereignty and it does not require any separation between religion and politics. The first aim of this paper is to elaborate this minimalist conception. We make a detailed restatement of it in order to isolate this conception from its moral (liberal) foundations, which are controversial from the particular Islamic viewpoint considered here. Verkligen, the democratic process is usually derived from a principle of personal autonomy, which is not endorsed by these Islamic theories.11 Here, we show that such principle is not necessary to justify a democratic process.

The Principle of Movement in the Structure of Islam

Dr. Muhammad Iqbal

As a cultural movement Islam rejects the old static view of the universe, and reaches a dynamic view. As an emotional system of unification it recognizes the worth of the individual as such, and rejects bloodrelationship as a basis of human unity. Blood-relationship is earthrootedness. The search for a purely psychological foundation of human unity becomes possible only with the perception that all human life is spiritual in its origin.1 Such a perception is creative of fresh loyalties without any ceremonial to keep them alive, and makes it possible for man to emancipate himself from the earth. Christianity which had originally appeared as a monastic order was tried by Constantine as a system of unification.2 Its failure to work as such a system drove the Emperor Julian3 to return to the old gods of Rome on which he attempted to put philosophical interpretations. A modern historian of civilization has thus depicted the state of the civilized world about the time when Islam appeared on the stage of History: Det verkade då som att den stora civilisationen som det hade tagit fyra tusen år att konstruera var på gränsen till upplösning, och att mänskligheten sannolikt skulle återvända till det tillstånd av barbari där varje stam och sekt var emot nästa, och lag och ordning var okända . . . The
gamla stamsanktioner hade förlorat sin makt. Därför skulle de gamla imperialistiska metoderna inte längre fungera. De nya sanktionerna skapade av
Kristendomen arbetade splittring och förstörelse istället för enhet och ordning. Det var en tid fylld av tragedier. Civilisation, som ett gigantiskt träd vars lövverk hade översvämmat världen och vars grenar hade burit konstens och vetenskapens och litteraturens gyllene frukter, stod och vacklade, dess stam inte längre levande med hängivenhets och vördnads flödande saft, men ruttnade till kärnan, riven by the storms of war, and held together only by the cords of ancient customs and laws, that might snap at any moment. Was there any emotional culture that could be brought in, to gather mankind once more into unity and to save civilization? This culture must be something of a new type, for the old sanctions and ceremonials were dead, and to build up others of the same kind would be the work
of centuries.’The writer then proceeds to tell us that the world stood in need of a new culture to take the place of the culture of the throne, and the systems of unification which were based on bloodrelationship.
It is amazing, he adds, that such a culture should have arisen from Arabia just at the time when it was most needed. There is, dock, nothing amazing in the phenomenon. The world-life intuitively sees its own needs, and at critical moments defines its own direction. This is what, in the language of religion, we call prophetic revelation. It is only natural that Islam should have flashed across the consciousness of a simple people untouched by any of the ancient cultures, and occupying a geographical position where three continents meet together. The new culture finds the foundation of world-unity in the principle of Tauhâd.’5 Islam, as a polity, is only a practical means of making this principle a living factor in the intellectual and emotional life of mankind. It demands loyalty to God, not to thrones. And since God is the ultimate spiritual basis of all life, loyalty to God virtually amounts to man’s loyalty to his own ideal nature. The ultimate spiritual basis of all life, as conceived by Islam, is eternal and reveals itself in variety and change. A society based on such a conception of Reality must reconcile, in its life, the categories of permanence and change. It must possess eternal principles to regulate its collective life, for the eternal gives us a foothold in the world of perpetual change.

Islamic Reformation

Adnan Khan

The Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi boasted after the events of 9/11:
“…we must be aware of the superiority of our civilisation, a system that has guaranteed

well being, respect for human rights andin contrast with Islamic countriesrespect

for religious and political rights, a system that has its values understanding of diversity

and tolerance…The West will conquer peoples, like it conquered communism, even if it

means a confrontation with another civilisation, the Islamic one, stuck where it was

1,400 years ago…”1

And in a 2007 report the RAND institute declared:
“The struggle underway throughout much of the Muslim world is essentially a war of

ideas. Its outcome will determine the future direction of the Muslim world.”

Building moderate Muslim Networks, RAND Institute

The concept of ‘islah’ (reform) is a concept unknown to Muslims. It never existed throughout the

history of the Islamic civilisation; it was never debated or even considered. A cursory glance at classical

Islamic literature shows us that when the classical scholars laid the foundations of usul, and codified

their Islamic rulings (fiqh) de tittade bara på förståelsen av de islamiska reglerna för att kunna

tillämpa dem. En liknande situation inträffade när reglerna fastställdes för hadith, tafseer och den

arabiskt språk. Lärda, tänkare och intellektuella genom islams historia tillbringade mycket tid

förstå Allahs uppenbarelse – Koranen och tillämpa ayaat på verkligheten och myntade

principer och discipliner för att underlätta förståelsen. Därför förblev Koranen grunden för

studier och alla discipliner som utvecklades var alltid baserade på Koranen. De som blev

slagen av grekisk filosofi som de muslimska filosoferna och några från Mut'azilah

ansågs ha lämnat islams fålla när Koranen upphörde att vara deras studiegrund. Alltså för

alla muslimer som försöker härleda regler eller förstå vilken hållning som bör intas till en viss

fråga Koranen är grunden för denna studie.

Det första försöket att reformera islam ägde rum i början av 1800-talet. Vid tur av

talet hade Ummah befunnit sig i en lång period av nedgång där den globala maktbalansen förändrades

från Khilafah till Storbritannien. Monteringsproblem uppslukade Khilafah medan Västeuropa var inne

mitt under den industriella revolutionen. Ummah kom att förlora sin orörda förståelse av islam, och

i ett försök att vända nedgången som uppslukade Uthmanernas (ottomaner) några muslimer skickades till

väst, och som ett resultat blev de slagen av vad de såg. Rifa'a Rafi' al-Tahtawi från Egypten (1801-1873),

vid hemkomsten från Paris, wrote a biographical book called Takhlis al-ibriz ila talkhis Bariz (The

Extraction of Gold, or an Overview of Paris, 1834), praising their cleanliness, love of work, and above

all social morality. He declared that we must mimic what is being done in Paris, advocating changes to

the Islamic society from liberalising women to the systems of ruling. This thought, and others like it,

marked the beginning of the reinventing trend in Islam.

ROOTS OF MISCONCEPTION

IBRAHIM KALIN

In the aftermath of September 11, the long and checkered relationship between Islam and the West entered a new phase. The attacks were interpreted as the fulfillment of a prophecy that had been in the consciousness of the West for a long time, i.e., the coming of Islam as a menacing power with a clear intent to destroy Western civilization. Representations of Islam as a violent, militant, and oppressive religious ideology extended from television programs and state offices to schools and the internet. It was even suggested that Makka, the holiest city of Islam, be “nuked” to give a lasting lesson to all Muslims. Although one can look at the widespread sense of anger, hostility, and revenge as a normal human reaction to the abominable loss of innocent lives, the demonization of Muslims is the result of deeper philosophical and historical issues.
In many subtle ways, the long history of Islam and the West, from the theological polemics of Baghdad in the eighth and ninth centuries to the experience of convivencia in Andalusia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, informs the current perceptions and qualms of each civilization vis-à-vis the other. This paper will examine some of the salient features of this history and argue that the monolithic representations of Islam, created and sustained by a highly complex set of image-producers, think-tanks, akademiker, lobbyists, policy makers, and media, dominating the present Western conscience, have their roots in the West’s long history with the Islamic world. It will also be argued that the deep-rooted misgivings about Islam and Muslims have led and continue to lead to fundamentally flawed and erroneous policy decisions that have a direct impact on the current relations of Islam and the West. The almost unequivocal identification of Islam with terrorism and extremism in the minds of many Americans after September 11 is an outcome generated by both historical misperceptions, which will be analyzed in some detail below, and the political agenda of certain interest groups that see confrontation as the only way to deal with the Islamic world. It is hoped that the following analysis will provide a historical context in which we can make sense of these tendencies and their repercussions for both worlds.

Islam in the West

Jocelyne Cesari

The immigration of Muslims to Europe, North America, and Australia and the complex socioreligious dynamics that have subsequently developed have made Islam in the West a compelling new ªeld of research. The Salman Rushdie affair, hijab controversies, the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the furor over the Danish cartoons are all examples of international crises that have brought to light the connections between Muslims in the West and the global Muslim world. These new situations entail theoretical and methodological challenges for the study of contemporary Islam, and it has become crucial that we avoid essentializing either Islam or Muslims and resist the rhetorical structures of discourses that are preoccupied with security and terrorism.
In this article, I argue that Islam as a religious tradition is a terra incognita. A preliminary reason for this situation is that there is no consensus on religion as an object of research. Religion, as an academic discipline, has become torn between historical, sociological, and hermeneutical methodologies. With Islam, the situation is even more intricate. In the West, the study of Islam began as a branch of Orientalist studies and therefore followed a separate and distinctive path from the study of religions. Even though the critique of Orientalism has been central to the emergence of the study of Islam in the ªeld of social sciences, tensions remain strong between Islamicists and both anthropologists and sociologists. The topic of Islam and Muslims in the West is embedded in this struggle. One implication of this methodological tension is that students of Islam who began their academic career studying Islam in France, Germany, or America ªnd it challenging to establish credibility as scholars of Islam, particularly in the North American academic
context.

Ockupation, Kolonialism, Apartheid?

The Human Sciences Research Council

The Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa commissioned this study to test the hypothesis posed by Professor John Dugard in the report he presented to the UN Human Rights Council in January 2007, in his capacity as UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel (nämligen, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, och
Gaza, hereafter OPT). Professor Dugard posed the question: Israel is clearly in military occupation of the OPT. At the same time, elements of the occupation constitute forms of colonialism and of apartheid, which are contrary to international law. What are the legal consequences of a regime of prolonged occupation with features of colonialism and apartheid for the occupied people, the Occupying Power and third States?
In order to consider these consequences, this study set out to examine legally the premises of Professor Dugard’s question: is Israel the occupant of the OPT, och, if so, do elements of its occupation of these territories amount to colonialism or apartheid? South Africa has an obvious interest in these questions given its bitter history of apartheid, which entailed the denial of selfdetermination
to its majority population and, during its occupation of Namibia, the extension of apartheid to that territory which South Africa effectively sought to colonise. These unlawful practices must not be replicated elsewhere: other peoples must not suffer in the way the populations of South Africa and Namibia have suffered.
To explore these issues, an international team of scholars was assembled. The aim of this project was to scrutinise the situation from the nonpartisan perspective of international law, rather than engage in political discourse and rhetoric. This study is the outcome of a fifteen-month collaborative process of intensive research, consultation, writing and review. It concludes and, it is to be hoped, persuasively argues and clearly demonstrates that Israel, since 1967, has been the belligerent Occupying Power in the OPT, and that its occupation of these territories has become a colonial enterprise which implements a system of apartheid. Belligerent occupation in itself is not an unlawful situation: it is accepted as a possible consequence of armed conflict. At the same time, under the law of armed conflict (also known as international humanitarian law), occupation is intended to be only a temporary state of affairs. International law prohibits the unilateral annexation or permanent acquisition of territory as a result of the threat or use of force: should this occur, no State may recognise or support the resulting unlawful situation. In contrast to occupation, both colonialism and apartheid are always unlawful and indeed are considered to be particularly serious breaches of international law because they are fundamentally contrary to core values of the international legal order. Colonialism violates the principle of self-determination,
which the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has affirmed as ‘one of the essential principles of contemporary international law’. All States have a duty to respect and promote self-determination. Apartheid is an aggravated case of racial discrimination, which is constituted according to the International Convention for the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973,
hereafter ‘Apartheid Convention’) by ‘inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them’. The practice of apartheid, moreover, is an international crime.
Professor Dugard in his report to the UN Human Rights Council in 2007 suggested that an advisory opinion on the legal consequences of Israel’s conduct should be sought from the ICJ. This advisory opinion would undoubtedly complement the opinion that the ICJ delivered in 2004 on the Legal consequences of the construction of a wall in the occupied Palestinian territories (hereafter ‘the Wall advisory opinion’). This course of legal action does not exhaust the options open to the international community, nor indeed the duties of third States and international organisations when they are appraised that another State is engaged in the practices of colonialism or apartheid.

ISLAM, DEMOKRATI & USA:

Cordoba Foundation

Abdullah Faliq

Intro ,


Trots att det är både en perenn och en komplex debatt, Arches Quarterly granskar om från teologiska och praktiska grunder, den viktiga debatten om förhållandet och kompatibiliteten mellan islam och demokrati, som ekade i Barack Obamas agenda för hopp och förändring. Medan många firar Obamas uppstigning till Oval Office som en nationell katarsis för USA, andra förblir mindre optimistiska om en förändring i ideologi och synsätt på den internationella arenan. Även om mycket av spänningen och misstron mellan den muslimska världen och USA kan tillskrivas strategin att främja demokrati, gynnar vanligtvis diktaturer och marionettregimer som ger läpparnas bekännelse till demokratiska värderingar och mänskliga rättigheter, efterskalvet av 9/11 har verkligen cementerat farhågorna ytterligare genom USA:s ståndpunkt om politisk islam. Det har skapat en vägg av negativitet som hittats av worldpublicopinion.org, enligt vilken 67% av egyptierna tror att Amerika globalt spelar en "främst negativ" roll.
USA:s svar har alltså varit träffande. Genom att välja Obama, många runt om i världen sätter sitt hopp om att utveckla en mindre krigförande, men rättvisare utrikespolitik gentemot den muslimska världen. Testet för Obama, när vi diskuterar, är hur Amerika och hennes allierade främjar demokrati. Kommer det att vara underlättande eller imponerande?
Dessutom, kan det vara en ärlig mäklare i utdragna konfliktzoner? Anlita prolifis expertis och insikt
c lärda, akademiker, rutinerade journalister och politiker, Arches Quarterly lyfter fram förhållandet mellan islam och demokrati och Amerikas roll – såväl som de förändringar som Obama åstadkom, i att söka den gemensamma grunden. Anas Altikriti, VD:n för Th e Cordoba Foundation ger inledningen till denna diskussion, där han reflekterar över de förhoppningar och utmaningar som vilar på Obamas väg. Följer Altikriti, den tidigare rådgivaren till president Nixon, Dr Robert Crane ger en grundlig analys av den islamiska principen om rätten till frihet. Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysias tidigare vice premiärminister, berikar diskussionen med de praktiska realiteterna i att implementera demokrati i muslimskt dominerande samhällen, nämligen, i Indonesien och Malaysia.
Vi har också Dr Shireen Hunter, från Georgetown University, USA, who explores Muslim countries lagging in democratisation and modernisation. Th is is complemented by terrorism writer, Dr Nafeez Ahmed’s explanation of the crisis of post-modernity and the
demise of democracy. Dr Daud Abdullah (Director of Middle East Media Monitor), Alan Hart (former ITN and BBC Panorama correspondent; author of Zionism: Th e Real Enemy of the Jews) and Asem Sondos (Editor of Egypt’s Sawt Al Omma weekly) concentrate on Obama and his role vis-à-vis democracy-promotion in the Muslim world, as well as US relations with Israel and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Minister of Foreign Aff airs, Maldives, Ahmed Shaheed speculates on the future of Islam and Democracy; Cllr. Gerry Maclochlainn
– en Sinn Féin-medlem som fick utstå fyra års fängelse för irländska republikanska aktiviteter och en kämpe för Guildford 4 och Birmingham 6, reflekterar över hans senaste resa till Gaza där han bevittnade effekterna av brutaliteten och orättvisan mot palestinier; Dr Marie Breen-Smyth, Direktör för Centrum för studier av radikalisering och samtida politiskt våld diskuterar utmaningarna med att kritiskt forska om politisk terror; Dr Khalid al-Mubarak, författare och dramatiker, diskuterar utsikterna till fred i Darfur; och slutligen journalisten och människorättsaktivisten Ashur Shamis ser kritiskt på demokratisering och politisering av muslimer idag.
Vi hoppas att allt detta ger en omfattande läsning och en källa för reflektion över frågor som berör oss alla i en ny gryning av hopp.
Tack

US Hamas policy blocks Middle East peace

Henry Siegman


Failed bilateral talks over these past 16 years have shown that a Middle East peace accord can never be reached by the parties themselves. Israeli governments believe they can defy international condemnation of their illegal colonial project in the West Bank because they can count on the US to oppose international sanctions. Bilateral talks that are not framed by US-formulated parameters (based on Security Council resolutions, the Oslo accords, the Arab Peace Initiative, the “road map” and other previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements) cannot succeed. Israel’s government believes that the US Congress will not permit an American president to issue such parameters and demand their acceptance. What hope there is for the bilateral talks that resume in Washington DC on September 2 depends entirely on President Obama proving that belief to be wrong, and on whether the “bridging proposals” he has promised, should the talks reach an impasse, are a euphemism for the submission of American parameters. Such a US initiative must offer Israel iron-clad assurances for its security within its pre-1967 borders, but at the same time must make it clear these assurances are not available if Israel insists on denying Palestinians a viable and sovereign state in the West Bank and Gaza. This paper focuses on the other major obstacle to a permanent status agreement: the absence of an effective Palestinian interlocutor. Addressing Hamas’ legitimate grievances – and as noted in a recent CENTCOM report, Hamas has legitimate grievances – could lead to its return to a Palestinian coalition government that would provide Israel with a credible peace partner. If that outreach fails because of Hamas’ rejectionism, the organization’s ability to prevent a reasonable accord negotiated by other Palestinian political parties will have been significantly impeded. If the Obama administration will not lead an international initiative to define the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian agreement and actively promote Palestinian political reconciliation, Europe must do so, and hope America will follow. Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet that can guarantee the goal of “two states living side by side in peace and security.”
But President Obama’s present course absolutely precludes it.

Islamismen återupptogs

MAHA Azzam

Det råder en politisk och säkerhetsmässig kris kring det som kallas islamism, en kris vars föregångare länge föregår 9/11. Under de senaste 25 år, det har funnits olika betoningar på hur man förklarar och bekämpar islamism. Analytiker och beslutsfattare
på 1980- och 1990-talen talade om grundorsakerna till islamisk militans som ekonomisk sjukdomskänsla och marginalisering. På senare tid har det varit fokus på politiska reformer som ett sätt att undergräva radikalismens dragningskraft. Alltmer idag, the ideological and religious aspects of Islamism need to be addressed because they have become features of a wider political and security debate. Whether in connection with Al-Qaeda terrorism, political reform in the Muslim world, the nuclear issue in Iran or areas of crisis such as Palestine or Lebanon, it has become commonplace to fi nd that ideology and religion are used by opposing parties as sources of legitimization, inspiration and enmity.
The situation is further complicated today by the growing antagonism towards and fear of Islam in the West because of terrorist attacks which in turn impinge on attitudes towards immigration, religion and culture. The boundaries of the umma or community of the faithful have stretched beyond Muslim states to European cities. Umman existerar potentiellt varhelst det finns muslimska samhällen. Den gemensamma känslan av att tillhöra en gemensam tro ökar i en miljö där känslan av integration i det omgivande samhället är oklar och där diskriminering kan vara uppenbar. Desto större förkastande av samhällets värderingar,
oavsett om det är i väst eller till och med i en muslimsk stat, desto större konsolidering av islams moraliska kraft som kulturell identitet och värdesystem.
Efter bombningarna i London på 7 juli 2005 det blev mer uppenbart att vissa ungdomar hävdade religiöst engagemang som ett sätt att uttrycka etnicitet. The links between Muslims across the globe and their perception that Muslims are vulnerable have led many in very diff erent parts of the world to merge their own local predicaments into the wider Muslim one, having identifi ed culturally, either primarily or partially, with a broadly defi ned Islam.

ISLAM AND THE RULE OF LAW

Birgit Krawietz
Helmut Reifeld

In our modern Western society, state-organised legal sys-tems normally draw a distinctive line that separates religion and the law. Conversely, there are a number of Islamic re-gional societies where religion and the laws are as closely interlinked and intertwined today as they were before the onset of the modern age. At the same time, the proportion in which religious law (shariah in Arabic) and public law (qanun) are blended varies from one country to the next. What is more, the status of Islam and consequently that of Islamic law differs as well. According to information provided by the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), there are currently 57 Islamic states worldwide, defined as countries in which Islam is the religion of (1) the state, (2) the majority of the population, eller (3) a large minority. All this affects the development and the form of Islamic law.

Islamic Political Culture, Demokrati, and Human Rights

Daniel E. Pris

It has been argued that Islam facilitates authoritarianism, contradicts the values of Western societies, and significantly affects important political outcomes in Muslim nations. Consequently, scholars, commentators, and government officials frequently point to ‘‘Islamic fundamentalism’’ as the next ideological threat to liberal democracies. This view, dock, is based primarily on the analysis of texts, Islamic political theory, och ad hoc-studier av enskilda länder, som inte tar hänsyn till andra faktorer. Det är min påstående att islams texter och traditioner, som andra religioner, kan användas för att stödja en mängd olika politiska system och politik. Landsspecifika och beskrivande studier hjälper oss inte att hitta mönster som hjälper oss att förklara de olika relationerna mellan islam och politik i länderna i den muslimska världen. Därmed, ett nytt tillvägagångssätt för att studera
koppling mellan islam och politik efterfrågas.
jag föreslår, genom en rigorös utvärdering av relationen mellan islam, demokrati, och mänskliga rättigheter på gränsöverskridande nivå, att alltför stor vikt läggs på islams makt som politisk kraft. Jag använder först jämförande fallstudier, which focus on factors relating to the interplay between Islamic groups and regimes, economic influences, ethnic cleavages, and societal development, to explain the variance in the influence of Islam on politics across eight nations. I argue that much of the power
attributed to Islam as the driving force behind policies and political systems in Muslim nations can be better explained by the previously mentioned factors. I also find, contrary to common belief, that the increasing strength of Islamic political groups has often been associated with modest pluralization of political systems.
I have constructed an index of Islamic political culture, based on the extent to which Islamic law is utilized and whether and, if so, how,Western ideas, institutions, and technologies are implemented, to test the nature of the relationship between Islam and democracy and Islam and human rights. This indicator is used in statistical analysis, which includes a sample of twenty-three predominantly Muslim countries and a control group of twenty-three non-Muslim developing nations. In addition to comparing
Islamic nations to non-Islamic developing nations, statistical analysis allows me to control for the influence of other variables that have been found to affect levels of democracy and the protection of individual rights. The result should be a more realistic and accurate picture of the influence of Islam on politics and policies.

PRECISION IN THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR:

Sherifa Zuhur

Seven years after the September 11, 2001 (9/11) attacks, many experts believe al-Qa’ida has regained strength and that its copycats or affiliates are more lethal than before. The National Intelligence Estimate of 2007 asserted that al-Qa’ida is more dangerous now than before 9/11.1 Al-Qa’ida’s emulators continue to threaten Western, Middle Eastern, and European nations, as in the plot foiled in September 2007 in Germany. Bruce Riedel states: Thanks largely to Washington’s eagerness to go into Iraq rather than hunting down al Qaeda’s leaders, the organization now has a solid base of operations in the badlands of Pakistan and an effective franchise in western Iraq. Its reach has spread throughout the Muslim world and in Europe . . . Osama bin Laden has mounted a successful propaganda campaign. . . . His ideas now attract more followers than ever.
It is true that various salafi-jihadist organizations are still emerging throughout the Islamic world. Why have heavily resourced responses to the Islamist terrorism that we are calling global jihad not proven extremely effective?
Moving to the tools of “soft power,” what about the efficacy of Western efforts to bolster Muslims in the Global War on Terror (kvot)? Why has the United States won so few “hearts and minds” in the broader Islamic world? Why do American strategic messages on this issue play so badly in the region? Why, despite broad Muslim disapproval of extremism as shown in surveys and official utterances by key Muslim leaders, has support for bin Ladin actually increased in Jordan and in Pakistan?
This monograph will not revisit the origins of Islamist violence. It is instead concerned with a type of conceptual failure that wrongly constructs the GWOT and which discourages Muslims from supporting it. They are unable to identify with the proposed transformative countermeasures because they discern some of their core beliefs and institutions as targets in
this endeavor.
Several deeply problematic trends confound the American conceptualizations of the GWOT and the strategic messages crafted to fight that War. These evolve from (1) post-colonial political approaches to Muslims and Muslim majority nations that vary greatly and therefore produce conflicting and confusing impressions and effects; och (2) residual generalized ignorance of and prejudice toward Islam and subregional cultures. Add to this American anger, fear, and anxiety about the deadly events of 9/11, and certain elements that, despite the urgings of cooler heads, hold Muslims and their religion accountable for the misdeeds of their coreligionists, or who find it useful to do so for political reasons.

DEBATING DEMOCRACY IN THE ARAB WORLD

Ibtisam Ibrahim

What is Democracy?
Western scholars define democracy a method for protecting individuals’ civil and political rights. It provides for freedom of speech, press, tro, opinion, ownership, and assembly, as well as the right to vote, nominate and seek public office. Huntington (1984) argues that a political system is democratic to the extent that its most powerful collective decision makers are selected through
periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all adults are eligible to vote. Rothstein (1995) states that democracy is a form of government and a process of governance that changes and adapts in response to circumstances. He also adds that the Western definition of democracyin addition to accountability, competition, some degree of participationcontains a guarantee of important civil and political rights. Anderson (1995) argues that the term democracy means a system in which the most powerful collective decision makers are selected through periodic elections in which candidates freely compete for votes and in which virtually all the adult population is eligible to vote. Saad Eddin Ibrahim (1995), an Egyptian scholar, sees democracy that might apply to the Arab world as a set of rules and institutions designed to enable governance through the peaceful
management of competing groups and/or conflicting interests. However, Samir Amin (1991) based his definition of democracy on the social Marxist perspective. He divides democracy into two categories: bourgeois democracy which is based on individual rights and freedom for the individual, but without having social equality; and political democracy which entitles all people in society the right to vote and to elect their government and institutional representatives which will help to obtain their equal social rights.
To conclude this section, I would say that there is no one single definition of democracy that indicates precisely what it is or what is not. However, as we noticed, most of the definitions mentioned above have essential similar elementsaccountability, competition, and some degree of participationwhich have become dominant in the Western world and internationally.